Indian Railways has decided to raise the sectional speed of 53 important broad-gauge routes across the country to 130 kmph.
The move is expected to reduce the travel time and enhance the operational efficiency of the trains and also give a boost to freight operations.
The Railways has already enhanced the maximum speed to 130 kmph for a majority of 9890 km length of Golden Quadrilateral – Golden Diagonal (GQ-GD) route.
Now the Railways have now chosen 53 routes, in various zones and instructed the respective General Managers to improve infrastructure to achieve the 130 kmph speed potential by the end of this fiscal, reported The Hindu.
In Southern Railway/South Western Railway, sectional speed will be increased to 130 kmph on these routes — Arakkonam-Mysore (436 km), Thiruvananthapuram Central-Kozhikode (400 km), Chennai Egmore-Madurai (496 km), Jolarpet-Bengaluru (148 km), Bengaluru-Mysuru (138 km), Kannur-Kozhikode (89 km), Thiruvananthapuram-Madurai (301 km) and Jolarpet-Coimbatore (289 km).
Speed enhancement works would not only help in reducing the running time of Vande Bharat trains but also of Shatabdi Express and other trains.
The impact of speed enhancement can be gauged by the fact that following the increase in speed along different routes, the Southern Railway has speeded up 44 train services across the zone in 2022-23 thereby easing the travel time for passengers.
A recent CAG report stated the average speed of mail and express trains in the country during 2019-2020 was only 50.6kmph despite spending Rs 2.5 lakh crore on track infrastructure between 2008 and 2019. Mission Raftaar project was envisaged in 2016-2017 to raise average speed of both passenger and freight trains, but there was no significant improvement.